Posted on August 31, 2013 by

  Foreign-backed militants in Syria (file photo)Foreign-backed militants in Syria (file photo)

Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:15PM GMT

By Hassan Beheshtipour

The experience of war in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya well proves the fact that military intervention will punish the innocent along with the guilty, and likewise, it is not clear whether the perpetrators behind the use of chemical weapons in Syria will be punished by military action.”

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The UK House of Commons on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to prevent Britain from entering into a possible war in Syria.

Following the vote, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that given the nay vote by the representatives of the British people regarding UK’s presence in a war against Syria, the British government would not engage in a military conflict in the Arab country.

Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the German government will not support a unilateral measure against Syria outside the UN mandate.

Meanwhile, the Italian prime minister has also opposed any kind of hasty military action against Syria outside the UN mandate.

In fact, Britain, Germany and Italy, as the main allies of the US, have refused to join Washington’s adventurism, knowing that the outbreak of war against Syria will harm their long-term interests in the Middle East region.

Accordingly, the leaders of most countries in the world see eye to eye with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who believes all should wait for the results of investigations by the UN inspectors because it is still not clear who exactly was behind the use of chemical weapons.

US officials cite reports by their intelligence sources to justify their blame game against the Damascus government, but the world community doesn’t trust them given that the same sources brought up the false allegation that the former Iraqi regime was in possession of weapons of mass destruction.

International lawyers also wonder who has authorized the US government, which has a long record of warmongering, to play the role of the administrator of justice.

The experience of war in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya well proves the fact that military intervention will punish the innocent along with the guilty, and likewise, it is not clear whether the perpetrators behind the use of chemical weapons in Syria will be punished by military action.

Experience shows that in missile attacks, even if limited, innocent people are more likely to be killed as the victims of US drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan over the past few years have been mainly civilians.

Political analysts believe the perpetrators of crimes against humanity can be put on trial in the International Criminal Court in The Hague; when it is possible to identify criminals based on the UN inspectors’ report, there is no need for a military attack in the form of blind missile attacks in a bid to punish them and prevent the repetition of such heinous crimes.

Since 2001 when the International Criminal Court officially started its work in The Hague in the Netherlands, it has been possible to, instead of trying governments which is necessary in its own right, try criminals, even if they are leaders of countries, in an international court and mete out punishments against them.

Therefore, the US cannot resort to human rights to justify military aggression against Syria or any other country because there are numerous ways available to prevent military action and the outbreak of a new war in the strategic region of Middle East. Moreover, a possible war may not be limited in scope as Obama has said.

Taking all the dimensions of the issue into account, one cannot justify a unilateral military action by the US because of the fact that the UN Security Council has a defective decision-making mechanism which cannot make a firm decision on working out effective solutions on Syria.

That is why the US has been isolated even among its allies. It seems that on the one hand Obama wants to help the Defense Department justify the US’ red line on the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, and on the other hand Israel, which needs a weakened Syria, feels a serious threat because it knows that in case of a US war against Syria, the Damascus government may hit Tel Aviv or other crucial military and nuclear sites of the regime to counter the US missile aggression.

If that war breaks out, its extent will be unpredictable. That’s why even if Israel’s interest are significant for the US, it does not seem that Obama would risk taking action outside the UN mandate because he knows that the imposition of a new war on the strategic Middle East nation can even take global dimensions.

So, if Obama does not want to be labeled the black sheep of initiating an uncalled-for war in the Middle East, he will probably show restraint until the outcome of the UN inspectors’ probe are determined; in that case, the US can deliberate more on its future measures.

In the meantime, Russia and China are also significant. Russian and Chinese officials have tried their best to prevent the outbreak of a war against Syria. But once the US launches a limited attack on Syria, they will probably not enter a direct confrontation with the US because these two countries prefer not to endanger their long-term interests by entering a direct war with the United States; that’s why they use all their diplomatic powers to neutralize Washington’s unilateralism in the world.

Of course, other countries in the Middle East, including Iran, will adopt measures to prevent the outbreak of another war in the region in accordance with their capabilities and national interests because such a war would be far more formidable in scope compared to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.


A researcher, documentary producer, and a frequent contributor to Press TV, Hassan Beheshtipour was born on June 22, 1961 in Tehran. He received his BA in Trade Economics from Tehran University. His research topics span from US and Russian foreign policy to the Ukrainian Orange Revolution. Beheshtipour is currently busy with research on the 1979 US embassy takeover in Tehran. More Press TV articles by this author